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10.04.14

Links 4/10/2014: WebOS is Back

Posted in News Roundup at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Lures The Killer App Closer

    A comment like that will draw some fire from IBM. Big Blue has megabucks invested in Linux and is tooting the Eclipse horn to prove its openness in developing software such as Rational Developer for i. Zend Technologies has had success with PHP, as has other application development vendors such as Profound Logic and BCD. And newcomer to the IBM i community, PowerRuby, has joined the app dev party as well.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla might add Tor encryption to its Firefox web browser

        The proof of concept for this is already out in The Pirate Browser, a product of The Pirate Bay, which offers a Firefox Tor bundle designed to access banned websites, though not specifically to protect anonymity. Tor’s web browser, too, is a version of the open source Firefox web browser.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The Reasons I Love GNUstep — Speaking for Free Software

      Recently, I had a discussion with RMS about being a speaker for Free Software. In the end I was told simply to record some of my talks and that I would be given some feedback, but during the discussion I explained why I think GNUstep is important to free software and I believe that this is something that I think is important for other people to understand as well:

  • Public Services/Government

    • Myanmar to build open source e-government platform

      Myanmar is to build an open source e-government platform with help from Vietnam.

      The first phase of the platform will be launched at the end of the year with functions allowing officials to manage citizen data and exchange information with other ministries and local governments, according to Vietnamese media reports.

      The platform will be upgraded in 2015 with cloud technology, and capabilities to handle more complex datasets and mobile users, it added.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Apple boycotts COMPUTER BILD: An open letter to Tim Cook

    In a video COMPUTER BILD showed how easy it is to bend an iPhone 6 Plus. The reaction from Apple: no more testing devices and no more invites for COMPUTER BILD. It is time for an open letter to Tim Cook.

  • Apple’s Responds To Tech Mag Showing The Amazing Bending Phone By Freezing Them Out Of Bendy Apple Products

    If you’ve paid attention to anything tangentially related to technology news over the past couple of weeks, you’re probably familiar with “bendgate”, the feverish reaction to the realization that Apple’s newest iPhone 6 Plus includes the feature of a bending case if you accidentally sit on it or something. As an Android loyalist, these reports have been an endless source of entertainment thus far, but even that has now been trumped by Apple’s reaction to the issue. Apparently the company has decided that the best response to a technology news organization’s reporting on the bendy Apple phones is to threaten to freeze that publication out of future bendy phones and likely-bendy Apple events.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Politics of Terror and Finding a Way Back

      Does ISIS pose a credible threat to the United States and its interests? And if so, what is the best way to manage that threat? If you had asked any politician in 2003, they most likely would have agreed that Saddam Hussein and Iraq under his reign posed a credible threat to the United States, and a 10-year war was started because of that belief.

    • Here’s Everything Wrong With the White House’s War on the Islamic State

      But now, with scarcely a whisper of serious debate, Obama has become the fourth consecutive US president to launch a war in Iraq—and in fact has outdone his predecessors by spreading the war to Syria as well, launching strikes not only on fighters linked to the Islamic State (IS, or ISIS) but also on the Al Qaeda–linked Nusra Front and Khorasan.

    • Fighter jets can’t destroy Daesh ideology

      A long-term solution to terrorism will be a comprehensive battle against dangerous ideas that occupy minds of some youths in Middle East

    • Jeremy Scahill on Obama’s Orwellian War in Iraq: We Created the Very Threat We Claim to be Fighting

      As Vice President Joe Biden warns it will take a “hell of a long fight” for the United States to stop militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, we speak to Jeremy Scahill, author of the book, “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield.” We talk about how the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 that helped create the threat now posed by the Islamic State. We also discuss the role of Baathist forces in ISIS, Obama’s targeting of journalists, and the trial of four former Blackwater operatives involved in the 2007 massacre at Baghdad’s Nisoor Square.

    • US has responsibility for Islamic State rise

      That’s how the US government has found itself since George W. Bush started a “war on terror” by invading Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, dragging US allies into a “coalition of the willing” that got mired in two wars for over a decade. Barack Obama, vowing to end the long and costly conflicts, withdrew American troops from Iraq (in 2011) and scheduled a wind-down in Afghanistan this year.

    • Jim Brock: Time to call off the drones, Mr. President

      Have you ever considered what life would be like if attack drones were visible over New York, Omaha, Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Denver and San Francisco?

      If our government were to deploy drones over American cities with the intent of targeting terrorists, what would our lives be like?

      Would we be comfortable with robot death machines flying through the sky like in a Ray Bradbury novel?

    • Check Out John Oliver on Drones

      Oliver’s funny, angry piece is a great summary of the lawlessness of the US’s drone policy, going from President Obama’s ill-advised drone striking the Jonas Brothers joke in 2009, to the fact that “imminent threat” and “civilian casualty” mean whatever the government wants them to mean.

    • Legality of Obama’s Drone Policy: A Conversation with Prof. Mary Ellen O’Connell

      Two U.S. presidents have authorized the use of drones to carry out attacks beyond armed conflict zones in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. The deaths of all persons from missile strikes is unlawful. The situation in Afghanistan is more complicated because it is the scene of a civil war. Because [ex-]President Karzai has demanded a zero civilian death rate and his policies are the only legitimate ones in the civil war, then civilian deaths are unlawful there, too. As for why international institutions have not done more, the U.S. has a veto that prevents the Security Council from taking up the matter.

    • London marchers say no to new Iraq war

      More than 2,000 people marched through London in the driving rain today, Saturday, against the bombing of Iraq.

    • US Should Consider Putting Plainclothes Soldiers in Schools, Call of Duty Director Says

      “The public won’t like it. They’ll think it’s a police state.”

    • Mass Arrests of American civilians
  • Transparency Reporting

    • National Security Agency probing cyber alert on Pakistan’s software

      The National Security Agency (NSA) is probing an alert from cyber security experts on weaponised surveillance software used by Pakistan and Bangladesh intelligence to spy on computers and mobile phones used by Indian politicians, journalists and security establishments. Several computers and mobile phones have already been exposed. Following the most recent Wikileaks release titled ‘Spyfiles 4’ on surveillance malware FinSpy, cyber security experts here claim that several computers and mobile phones of important people could have been compromised, exposing a huge chink in Indian cyber space.

      On September 15, Wikileaks released previously unseen copies of weaponised German surveillance malware, FinFisher, that had been used by intelligence agencies around the world to spy on journalists, political dissidents and others.Analysing the report in detail, cyber security experts at Cyber Security and Privacy Foundation (CSPF) here isolated records of Pakistan-based users, accessing FinFisher products to spy on Indians. “Several FinFisher products have been sold to a person/organisation in Pakistan.

    • CIA Can’t Let You Know How Much It Paid For A Single Amiga Computer In 1987 [Updated]

      Does the CIA actually believe some sort of irreparable rift in the National Security Complex might occur if this dollar amount from three decades ago (unadjusted for inflation) was made public? Probably not. Aftergood theorizes that it’s a blanket exemption used to redact more sensitive dollar amounts and this innocent cost just became collateral damage during the rush to declassify several dozen documents in response to an FOIA lawsuit court order.

  • Finance

    • The New York Times Has Had A Very, Very Rough Year

      The announcement on Wednesday that the paper was slashing hundreds of jobs and retooling its troubled digital products was just the latest in a string of bad news for the Times in 2014.

    • This Country Just Abolished College Tuition Fees

      Prospective students in the United States who can’t afford to pay for college or don’t want to rack up tens of thousands in student debt should try their luck in Germany. Higher education is now free throughout the country, even for international students. Yesterday, Lower Saxony became the last of seven German states to abolish tuition fees, which were already extremely low compared to those paid in the United States.

    • Nick Clegg accuses George Osborne of balancing books ‘on backs of poor’

      Deputy prime minister attacks his coalition partner’s austerity measures, and says ‘compassionate conservatism’ claim is dead

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Marriott fined $600,000 for jamming guest hotspots

      Marriott will cough up $600,000 in penalties after being caught blocking mobile hotspots so that guests would have to pay for its own WiFi services, the FCC has confirmed today. The fine comes after staff at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee were found to be jamming individual hotspots and then charging people up to $1,000 per device to get online.

    • FCC Fines Marriott For Jamming Customers’ WiFi Hotspots To Push Them Onto Hotel’s $1,000 Per Device WiFi

      Hotel WiFi sucks. If you do any traveling, you’re aware of this. Though, from what I’ve seen, the higher end the hotel, the worse the WiFi is and the more insane its prices are. Cheap discount hotels often offer free WiFi, and it’s generally pretty reliable. High end hotels? I’ve seen prices of $30 per day or higher, and it’s dreadfully low bandwidth. These days, when traveling, I often pick hotels based on reviews of the WiFi quality, because nothing can be more frustrating than a crappy internet connection when it’s needed. But, even worse than the WiFi in your room, if you’re using the WiFi for a business meeting or event — the hotels love to price gouge. And, it appears that’s exactly what the Marriott-operated Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville did. Except, the company went one step further. Thanks to things like tethering on phones and MiFi devices that allow you to set up your own WiFi hotspot using wireless broadband, Marriott realized that some smart business folks were getting around its (absolutely insane) $1,000 per device WiFi charges, and just using MiFi’s. So, Marriott then broke FCC regulations and started jamming the devices to force business folks to pay its extortionate fees.

  • DRM

    • Apple will face $350M trial over iPod DRM

      Apple will soon have to face a trial over accusations it used digital rights management, or DRM, to unlawfully maintain a lead in the iPod market, a federal judge has ruled. The plaintiffs’ lawyers, representing a class of consumers who bought iPods between 2006 and 2009, are asking for $350 million.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Almost No One Wants To Host The Olympics, Because It’s A Costly, Corrupt Mess

      For many years, we’ve written about questionable activities by the Olympics, usually focusing on the organization’s insanely aggressive approach to intellectual property, which could be summed up as “we own and control everything.” Yes, the Olympics requires countries to pass special laws that protect its trademarks and copyrights beyond what standard laws allow. Of course, this is really much more about control and money

    • Copyrights

      • ‘Mash-ups’ now protected under copyright law – but only if funny

        Under a new exception to copyright law, anyone will be able to make creative montage from existing material – as long as it is funny

      • New UK Copyright Exception Allows Mashups — But Only If Judges Think They Are Funny
      • The Two Poles of Kiwi Journalism and A New Vanguard

        Mainstream Kiwi journalism in the wake of Dotcom, Assange, Snowden & Greenwald’s pre-election ‘Moment of Truth‘ event has fallen squarely along ideological lines.

        The media have yet to give any serious consideration to the possibility of any new political paradigm outside of the left-right sphere in which they remain firmly entrenched. The results are predictable and must be challenged.

      • Google Removes News Snippets From Complaining Publications In Germany; Publications Claim It’s ‘Blackmail’

        Earlier this year, we noted a somewhat ridiculous and cynical attempt by some German newspapers to demand payment from Google for sending them traffic via Google News — and not just a little bit, but 11% of gross worldwide revenue on any search that showed one of their snippets. There were a few issues that we noted here: first, anyone not wanting to appear in Google News can quite easily opt-out. Second, Google News in Germany doesn’t show any ads. Third, those very same newspapers were using Google’s own tools to appear higher in search, suggesting that they certainly believed they were getting value out of being in Google’s index.

      • Head Of City of London Police Unit That Operates Without Court Orders Worries About Online ‘Lawlessness’

        A year ago, Techdirt wrote about a new unit set up by the City of London Police to tackle crimes involving intellectual monopolies. Since then, there have been a flood of posts about its increasingly disproportionate actions, including seizing domain names, shutting down websites, inserting ads on websites, and arresting someone for running an anti-censorship proxy. This makes a PCPro interview with the head of that unit, Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Andy Fyfe, particularly valuable, since it helps shed a little light on the unit’s mindset.

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